Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt

Senator George Mitchell continued talks in Northern Ireland into the ninth week of his review of the Good Friday Agreement; Mr Mitchell flew to Dublin, London and Washington to brief national leaders. A leaked first draft by the Royal Commission on the future of the Lords included a proposal for 100 peers to be elected to give the House a flavour of democratic legitimacy. The first 15 hereditary peers to be allowed to remain in the Lords were named as: the Countess of Mar, Lord Strabolgi, Lord Elton, Lord Lyell, Lord Skelmersdale, Lord Aberdare, Lord Brougham and Vaux, Viscount Falkland, Lord Colwyn, Viscount Oxfuird, Lord Reay, Lord Geddes, Viscount Simon, Lord Methuen and Lord Ampthill. The government also announced ten new life peers, some of them peers of first creation in any case, who would have retained their right to sit in the Lords: Viscount Cranborne, Lord Longford, the Earl of Snowdon, Lord Aldington, Lord Erroll of Hale, Lord Carrington, Earl Jellicoe, Lord Windlesham, Lord Shepherd and Lord Belstead. Lord Jakobovits, the former Chief Rabbi, died, aged 78. Gaston Berlemont, the former landlord of the York Minster in Soho, died, aged 85. Mr Michael Portillo was adopted as the prospective Conservative candidate for Kensington and Chelsea. The Prince of Wales decided to invest 50 million of the Duchy of Cornwall's 280-million capital assets in buying 22,000 acres of agricultural land, bringing its holdings to 147,000 acres. The Queen gave a royal charter to the Prince's Trust, the charity for young people founded by the Prince of Wales. Prince William rode to hounds with the Beaufort Hunt. More than 20,000 supporters of the Countryside Alliance marched through Exeter protesting against the government's rural policies, including opposition to fox-hunting. In a speech to the Confederation of British Industry, Mr Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, said that some of the provisions of the European Union's Working Time Directive adopted last year were `over the top'. …

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